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Malvasia is an ancient family of grapes that includes a diverse collection of noble varieties. These grapes are capable of producing wine of any feasible color in dry, sparkling and sweet styles. There are dozens of regional synonyms for and sub-varieties of Malvasia, painting the picture of a well-traveled family that has adapted to numerous environments. In the 21st Century, Malvasia is produced in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and the United States.

Believed to be of Greek origin, the Malvasia family has been commercially important to the Mediterranean for more than 2000 years. Malvasia, the name, is a derivation of the coastal Greek town of Monemvasia, where the Venetians had a strategically important fortress and trading post during the time of their empire.

Black Malvasia Nera Grapes

Throughout the Middle Ages, Malvasia wine became so ubiquitous among Venetian merchants that they started naming their wine stores malvasie. The strength of the ancient Malvasia brand may well be the first example of international wine marketing.

Malvasia has a strong historical and viticultural association with islands and some of the most distinctive examples of the wine come from these maritime environments. Most famously, Malmsey wine is made from Malvasia on the Portuguese island of Madeira in the North Atlantic. Malmsey is a varietal expression of Malvasia that is heated and oxidized after fermentation to create a unique style of wine, characterized by its dark coloring (depending on the type of Malvasia used) and rich, ripe and nutty flavors.

Elsewhere in Portugal, at least a dozen sub-varieties of Malvasia are grown in Douro, where they are sometimes used in the production of White Port. In northern Spain, Malvasia is blended with Viura in Rioja and Navarra. Malvasia’s low acidity means it oxidizes easily and adds body weight and texture to the White Rioja Blend.

Another island synonymous with Malvasia wine is Lipari, off Sicily’s northeastern coast. The area now known as Malvasia delle Lipari DOC once produced enormous volumes of sweet Malvasia wine. Unfortunately, Lipari has never fully recovered from the devastating impact of phylloxera and the sweet, fresh and aromatic wines of the region are now rarities.

The Canary Islands and Greece’s Aegean group are other islands notable for their production of Malvasia.

Malvasia is grown all over Italy under many names and styles. Often paired with Trebbiano, Malvasia blends make up a significant proportion of inexpensive table wines made on the mainland. The Friuli-Venezia-Giulia DOCs of Collio and Isonzo are regarded as the best varietal examples of dry Malvasia, showing light stonefruit flavors and a pronounced floral bouquet.

Further south, the fashion is to create slightly sparkling versions of Malvasia in Emilia-Romagna, often with a pinkish hue. In southern Italy, semi-dried Malvasia grapes are vinified into Passito wines to take advantage of the family’s naturally high sugar and potential alcohol levels.

Malvasia Bianca is the main sub-variety and has many offspring of its own. There are also a number of confusingly named, yet unrelated, regional synonyms involving Malvasia. Malvasia Corada is actually Vital, Malvasia Rei is Palomino and Malvasia da Trincheira is Folgasa.

Synonyms include: Malmsey, Malvasier, Malvazia, Monemvasia.

Popular blends include: Malvasia – Trebbiano, White Rioja blend.

Related grape varieties include: Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia Nera, Malvasia di Candia.

Food matches include:
Europe: Risotto con Gorgonzola, noci e pere (risotto with Gorgonzola, walnuts and pear)
Americas: Waldorf salad
Africa/Middle East: South African apple and almond hake

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We found 302 matches for Malvasia. Click on a name below for details, scores and price history ...
Wine Name
Barbeito Frasqueira Malvasia, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $343 4281
Blandy's Vintage Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $131 5008
Barbeito Malvasia Reserva Velha, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $335 7255
Mondo del Vino Ricossa Antica Casa Malvasia di Casorzo, Piedmont, Italy Malvasia di Casorzo d'Asti $13 7573
Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy Vin Santo del Chianti Classico $68 9283
El Grifo Malvasia Dulce, Lanzarote, Spain Lanzarote $22 9710
D'Oliveiras Malvasia Reserva Vintage Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $299 11336
Bodegas los Bermejo Malvasia Seco, Lanzarote, Spain Lanzarote $18 12906
Vie di Romans Flors di Uis Friuli Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Friuli Isonzo $34 13447
Hauner Malvasia delle Lipari, Sicily, Italy Malvasia delle Lipari $41 17627
Wild Horse Malvasia Bianca, San Bernabe, USA San Bernabe $23 17805
Blandy's Colheita Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira $73 19012
Justino's Malvasia Vintage, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $116 19071
Cantine Colosi Malvasia delle Lipari Naturale, Sicily, Italy Malvasia delle Lipari $42 20246
Cossart Gordon Malmsey Vintage, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $348 21510
El Grifo Malvasia Seco, Lanzarote, Spain Lanzarote $13 22207
Broadbent 10 Years Old Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $44 22995
Abbazia Malvasia Spumante Rose, Veneto, Italy Veneto $13 23404
Distillerie Poli Grappa Uvaviva Italiana, Veneto, Italy Veneto $42 23404
Blandy's 15 Year Old Rich Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira $58 23612
Blandy's 10 Years Old Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $42 24662
Caldora Ortonese Malvasia Colline Teatine IGT, Abruzzo, Italy Colline Teatine IGT $5 24662
The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series New York Malmsey Special Reserve by Barbeito, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $53 27186
Blandy's 5 Years Old Rich Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal Madeira Malvasia - Malmsey $23 27330
Vinatigo Malvasia Clasico, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Spain Ycoden-Daute-Isora $34 27626
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